Government Issues

U.S. DOT awards over $6 million for accessibility research

Posted on September 18, 2017

The contracts are a part of USDOT's Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative to improve mobility options for all travelers, particularly those with disabilities. Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation
The contracts are a part of USDOT's Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative to improve mobility options for all travelers, particularly those with disabilities. Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) awarded six application development research contracts, totaling $6.185 million for a period of performance through 2019.

The contracts are a part of U.S. DOT's Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) to improve mobility options for all travelers, particularly those with disabilities. ATTRI is a multimodal departmental effort geared toward identifying and developing transformative transportation applications for all disabilities.

U.S. DOT reviewed a total of 34 proposals and granted the awards in three application technology areas — wayfinding and navigation, pre-trip and concierge services, and safe intersection crossing.

Wayfinding and Navigation:

City College of New York – Awarded $631,000 for Smart Cane for Assistive Navigation integrated with a smart phone application.

AbleLink Smart Living Technologies – Awarded $923,721 for a new open wayfinding media standard and infrastructure to support the creation of geographically-specific cloud-based libraries of routes that adhere to the SMART standard for users in different metropolitan or rural areas.

Pathway Accessibility Solutions – Awarded $913,389 for developing a wayfinding tool for wheelchair users and people with visual impairment that provides routes tailored to the user’s preferences.

TRX Systems – Awarded $889,101 for a smart wayfinding and navigation system to obtain real-time location, en-route assistance, and situational awareness.

Pre-Trip and Concierge Services:

AbleLink – Awarded $828,154 for developing suite of assessment, self-directed learning, and trip execution technologies to support independent travel for individuals with cognitive disabilities.

Safe Intersection Crossing:

Carnegie Mellon University – Awarded $2 million for connecting pedestrian travelers with disabilities to the traffic signal systems (and by extension to nearby connected vehicles and infrastructure), and using connectivity to develop assistive services for safe intersection crossing and increased independent mobility.

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